Global Ministries is saddend to learn of the Death of Lee Brummel

Global Ministries is saddend to learn of the Death of Lee Brummel

Global Ministries is saddend to learn of the Death of Lee Brummel

B. Lee Brummel
January 15, 1939 – July 6, 2014 

Bonnie Lee Brummel was born at home on a farm near Oskaloosa, Iowa, on January 15, 1939 to Louise and Lester Brummel. His grandmother, Mable Thatcher, assisted the family and doctor with the birth.  She estimated that he weighed 10 pounds and proudly announced that another Bonnie had been added to the family.  No one had the heart to tell Mable that they wanted to name him Lee; so on his birth certificate he is Bonnie Lee Brummel.  Lee never referred to himself as Bonnie and signed important papers and documents as B. Lee Brummel.  He attended a country school until they moved into town.  He was active in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and showed sheep at the county fair.  

Lee’s interests expanded in high school to include the debate team and drama.  He attended Boys State and competed in a national speech contest “Voice of America” where he placed third.  He played tennis for his high school team and pitched for the community baseball team. 

Lee graduated from Culver-Stockton College in Canton Missouri with honors, being the first in his family to attend college.  He married Jacquelin Mease while they were in college.  In addition to his studies he was a pastor at Golden’s Point Christian Church in Hamilton, Illinois.

Lee continued his studies at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington Kentucky, where he served as president of the student body, and worked as a student minister at Central Christian Church in Lexington.  After receiving his BD degree, he was accepted into the joint program at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City where he received his PhD.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled Luther on Poverty and the Poor. 

In 1971, the Brummel family was sent by the Christian Missionary Society of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – a predecessor body of Global Ministries — to Buenos Aires, Argentina , where Lee was a professor at the ecumenical seminary, ISEDET.  Later he was elected as the Dean and finally he became Rector.  Sons Christopher and Ted were born in New York City while he was studying at Columbia University, and son David and daughter Elizabeth (Becky) were born in Buenos Aires. 

The years in Argentina were filled with successes and failures.  Argentina had military coups, the “Dirty War,” (30,000 people “disappeared”), and The Malvinas War.  On the positive side, Argentina once hosted the World Cup and won the World Cup twice, the Military Government was ousted, the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo valiantly and peacefully demanded knowledge of their missing children, and with the election of Alfonsin, the country became a democracy again. 

Lee, as Rector of ISEDET, was able to satisfy the graduating students’ wish to have Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Argentina, speak at their graduation. The students, faculty, and church members worked together and took extreme care to assure only the invited guests were in attendance. The Seminary library had been fire bombed in 1980 and some feared that inviting Perez Esquivel, a human rights activist just released from prison, might be dangerous for the seminary.  The ceremony was held safely. 

After 18 years in Argentina, the family returned to the United States to be closer to family. Lee was a visiting professor at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth Texas.  Later he served as pastor to the First Christian in Sikeston Missouri, Highlands Christian Church in Dallas Texas, and First Christian Church in Hanford California.  At retirement Lee and Jackie returned to Dallas, Texas. 

Lee’s interest in relationships with all people kept him ever-alert to new initiatives. While serving as pastor at Highlands Christian Church, a group of Hispanic Christians asked if they could use the church for their worship service.  With the board’s approval, they were welcomed to use the church for services.  In addition Lee initiated, through the city of Dallas, English classes for the group, a desire of this new Hispanic congregation.  Members of the Highlands congregation became teachers of English on Tuesday nights and Saturdays, with teaching materials furnished by the city of Dallas.  So strong was the relationship with the Hispanic group and the love they found at Highlands, the entire Hispanic congregation asked to become a part of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Today that group has grown and the Iglesia Cristiana Bet-El has their own church building on Military Parkway, led by Merced Cisneros, their original pastor. 

One night about midnight the telephone rang and Lee’s wife Jackie got up to answer the phone, which was in the study. When she returned Lee asked about the call. She told him it was a collect call from the Dallas County Jail. “Well, what was it?” asked Lee.  Jackie replied, “I did not accept the call.” Lee’s response was, “Jackie, we always accept collect calls from the Dallas County Jail.” 

Lee knew that the question posed in Micah 6:8 is easy to understand, but not always easy to practice.  “What does the Lord require of you? To seek justice and love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” 

Lee Brummel was preceded in death by: his parents; his brother, Ken Brummel; sisters, Judy Zylstra, and Marilyn Brummel, and his nephew, Jason Bye.  Lee is survived by: wife, Jacquelin; children, Christopher, Theodore, David, and Elizabeth (Becky); daughters-in-law Karen and Micheline; son-in-law, Daniel Astrudillo; grandchildren Alea, Gina, Kayley, Kathryn, Matthew, Rielle, and Vivienne; nieces Jennifer Skinner, Sara Acker, and Janet Miller; nephews Tom and Tim Zylstra, John and Jeff Brummel, John and Curtis Lee; sisters-in-law Ginger Lee, and Charlene Brummel; brothers-in law, Wayne Lee, Claude Zylstra, Alan Nebola, Dan Bye; and many cousins and friends. 

Services for Lee Brummel were held on July 13, 2014 at Highlands Christian Church in Dallas, with Reverend Paul Carpenter officiating.  Condolences may be sent to:  Mrs. Jacquelin Brummel, 10801 Middle Knoll Drive, Dallas Texas 75238-2934.  The family asks that memorial gifts be given designated for the Lee and Jacquelin Brummel ISEDET Education Fund, by checks made out and sent to Global Ministries, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis Indiana 46206.